Virgin Atlantic Airlines has grown into one of the most successful airline business over the past 25 years. Virgin Atlantic literally flew to success on golden wings and the dreams of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. In 1980’s Branson took over the British airlines Virgin Atlantic during a period of financial down falls for the airline company that could not keep up with the competition. Turning Virgin Airline into the world’s most profitable enterprises within the century indicates that hard work and perseverance pays off. Although, success over-night did not take flight right away, Branson had to put his expertise and his business savvy to work in order to fulfill his dream and to give flight to this iron eagle.
Now, a look at the current state of airline industry as a whole; without mincing words the airlines across the world has been taking a beating over the years; some of the severe. The losses for the last year were around $ 6 billion. And the fact that the price of aviation fuel has been volatile doesn’t help the matters. The number of airlines who have bankrupt over the last 2 years is mind boggling. Even the majors are forced to rely on cut backs and belt tightening.
In such a scenario, what is the state of Virgin Atlantic? In the year 2008, it carried 5.7 million passengers, which is a big number considering what is happening in general in the industry. In the last quarter of 2008, the company reported losses of $27 million on revenue of $110 million. The load factor was reported as 81 percent and there was a noteworthy increase of more than 5% in the top line figures.
The airline has an impressive fleet strength of 38 aircrafts, with another 21 ordered which is expected to be added to the fleet soon. The average age of the Virgin Atlantic carriers is a little more than 8 years. The fleet includes Boeing 747s and Airbuses.